Morrisons successfully tapped into the pulse of the nation to record a better than expected 2.5% increase in like-for-like first quarter sales, according to CEO Dalton Philips.

Philips praised his trading team for judging exactly what consumers were looking for over the quarter with its Biggest Ever Price Crunch in January and February through to its Fuel Britannia and Let's Celebrate campaigns for Easter and the Royal Wedding. "We got it spot on," said Philips, revealing that Morrisons sold enough bunting to stretch from London to Stoke, including that used to decorate Downing Street's Royal Wedding party.

Morrisons also sold 30% more bin bags over the holiday period and had its two biggest trading days of the year so far on the Thursdays before Easter and the Royal Wedding.

However, Philips warned the increased consumer spending was likely to be a one-off and trading was likely to remain tough for the rest of the year. Morrisons also confirmed it had spent £68.7m buying back 24.7 million shares since March.